Another dinner party
We had a really great dinner party the other night. 5 couples plus us makes 12 people in total. I truly enjoy these evenings. The preparation, the anticipation and the entire event.
I was thinking about how my parents frequently held dinner parties for business and friends. Perhaps that is where I got the bug to entertain. It is great for our kids to see us open our home to friends and family all the time. I hope it is something that they will continue to do. What is interesting is that I find we are some of the few people I know who entertain often or at all.
Anyhow, here is the menu for the past dinner party. I am not going to post the recipes but I will share the full on menu…and maybe some info on the "how to".
We started with cheese sticks and curry spicy nuts. I like serving this with pre-dinner drinks because it is light and just whets the appetite. All easy. I just use pre-made puff pastry. Take about 1/2 lb. of Gruyere and grate it. Mix with some paprika and some herbs. Put on the bottom half of the rolled out puffed pastry and flip the dough over to seal in. Cut up into long strips and bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes or so at 350. The nuts. Take unsalted butter, some curry and herbs and melt together. Add the nuts and toss for about 3-4 minutes. That’s it.
First course…spicy crab soup. Love crab soup. Must be that Maryland childhood.
Second course…mache salad with pomegranate seeds, roasted acorn squash, sugary walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese.
Main course….panko macadamia nut crusted talapia fish pan fried over spinach sauteed with ginger oil and a sauce of carrot/ginger juice reduction. The sauce I couldn’t replicate if you paid me. I played around with it at least 4 times before serving.
Dessert….lemon mousse with chocolate pistachio biscotti, Mexican wedding cookies, peppermint patty chocolate chip cookies on the side. I always like serving a few different type of cookies on the side as an added bonus.
All good. Not light on the calories, but hey, it’s a dinner party. Enjoy.
My colleagues and I all entertain a lot because we have a lot of people coming in from out of town all the time and huge groups of people in restaurants don’t work very well for mingling and conversation. What we’ve done is tone down everyone’s expectations about how fancy the food will be, and it makes the whole thing a lot less stressful (especially if you’re single and work full time or both spouses work full-time plus have families). Usually I order from an inexpensive but good restaurant (Thai, Chinese, Indian, Ethiopian, Malaysian are favorites). They key is to only order lots of orders of just a few dishes and put it out in large serving bowls, rather than ordering a million entrees and have lots of cartons sitting all over the place. That way I can throw together dinner for 30 people at my house on 24 hours notice. My mom says she admires that we can do that, since the pressure to cook really good food always limited how much my parents entertained. I find it a lot less stressful than cooking for that many or dealing with an annoyed caterer on short notice.